Doyle Brunson, “Texas Dolly,” the gun-packing poker legend who dominated the top game for nearly 70 years, died in the first smoky backroom when gunfire erupted in the occasional (and legal) World Series of Poker on cable television. May 14 at a hospital in Las Vegas. He was 89.

The agent confirmed that Brian Balsbaugh was dead, but did not provide a cause.

The arc of Mr. Brunson’s career parallels the history of poker in America, from illegal out of sight to mainstream entertainment.

Rated Bluff Magazine Mr. Brunson won 10 World Series of Poker tournaments, including Main Event titles in 1976 and 1977. He was the first player to win $1 million in the tournament. 6.2 million dollars Direct earnings – although that’s what he did in the public eye.

Until recently, Mr. Brunson played wildly at private games, sometimes winning (or losing) millions of dollars a month. His wife found him annoying at times.

But that’s what I do. He told Texas Monthly. last year. “It’s what I always do. And if I drop dead on the table in the middle of a hellish monster pot, I’ll die a happy man.

In the year In the early 1950s, he played in the back rooms of bars and other adult establishments in the neighborhood along Exchange Avenue in Fort Worth.

“Exchange Avenue may be the most dangerous street in America,” he explained to Texas Monthly. “There was nothing but thieves and murderers. It was amazing.”

Mr. Brunson always packed his gun. (When asked if he used it, he replied, “No comment.”) One night, someone interrupted the game and pointed a loaded gun at the player’s head. Mr. Brunson took the chip and hid in a creek.

Another night, this time in Austin, armed bandits took their money off the tables and lined gamblers up against a wall, ordering them to drop their pants. The bandits threatened to blow off the legs of the players if they hid money.

Immediately, the players began throwing $100 bills on the floor.

Mr. Brunson was philosophical about the chaos.

“You have no regard for money,” he told The New York Times. “You have to look at it as a function and the money as a class. What you’re trying to do is win as many classes as possible.”

Mr. Brunson eventually joined other players, traveling across Texas to play private games with doctors, lawyers and other professionals in a time when there was more money – and certainly less violence.

In the year In the early 1960s, he moved to Las Vegas, where gambling was booming. In the year He played in the first World Series of Poker tournament in 1970.

A few years later, the World Series began to be televised. ESPN began broadcasting events in the 1980s, and demand grew steadily. Mr. Brunson became one of the most familiar faces in the game. He was very rich. It is reported Investing millions to raise the Titanic and find Noah’s Ark.

Mr. Brunson has also written several books on poker “The Doyle Brunson Supersystem.” where he explained his methods. The book, and a later follow-up, became the bible of the sport, featured in the opening scenes of a gambling movie. “terrorists” (1998) starring Matt Damon.

“More than any other game,” he wrote, “poker depends on understanding your opponent. You have to know what makes him angry. Above all, you have to know what makes him angry when you’re in a pot with him. What is his mood? What is his current psychology?” “

The neck is the best place to tell.

“In many people, the pulse on the neck is visible,” he wrote. “In that case, no one can hide it because no one can control their heartbeat. [stressful] Conditions. You know he’s excited when you see someone’s neck just getting stabbed, and usually the shock is fading.”

Doyle Frank Brunson was born on August 10, 1933 in Longworth, Texas, a rural farm town of a few houses, no general store and no indoor plumbing. His father worked at a gin manufacturer and Doyle secretly played poker to support his children’s college tuition. His mother was a housewife.

Mr. Brunson excelled in sports, especially basketball and track. At Hardin-Simmons University, a Baptist-affiliated school in Abilene, Tex., he starred on the basketball team and gambled with friends on Saturday nights.

In the year He got a job selling commercial equipment. On his first day at work, he stumbled upon a poker game.

“It was a seven-stud game where I cleared a month’s salary in less than three hours,” he wrote. “Super System” “‘My God, what am I doing sitting at the poker table and making ten times as much money in six times, selling a machine that no one wants to buy from me?’ I thought.

He left and headed for Exchange Street.

In the year In 1962, he married Louise Carter, a pharmacist at the funeral home where his father-in-law worked. “The chapel was beautiful,” Mr. Brunson told Texas Monthly.

Survivors include his wife; their children, Todd and Pamela Brunson; stepdaughter Cheryl Carter; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mr. Brunson was a master of speech recognition.

“Once I got word of Puggy Pearson,” he wrote “Super System” “Every time he put the chips in the rack and played them, he would blur them out. He must have worked for six months before he met someone else and spoke.

But he was equally adept at obfuscation.

Mr. Brunson wrote, “All senior professionals have a defense against people who use rhetoric against people.” “Sometimes when I blurt out I’ll say something different like ‘gee whiz’ so people can relate to that [a] But Bluff, next time I say ‘Gee Wiz’ I won’t shut up.

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